This gazing practice evolved over time. For the first few months, there was a lot of “face beyond the face beyond the face” stuff. Archetypes. Wise king, handsome woodcutter, solitary scholar, fool. Death mask, goddess, loving or wrathful dakini. I would have flashes of insight, other narratives, other times. The person before me could be old or young, benign or menacing, trustworthy or treacherous. Sometimes images would just dissolve around the edges, receding beyond the glow of the candlelight. But always I (we!) felt the energy dance.
Eventually we got to the point where we could detect each other’s deliberate subtle body movements. Without giving a sign through any corresponding physical movement, I would send the energy streaming as a gentle rain, the brush of leaves, something heavy, light, swirling around the shoulders or going straight to the heart. These were sometimes mere micro-movements of intention. The man before me would gasp, shudder, widen his eyes, and so I knew I’d hit my mark.
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It was pleasurable in the extreme. It was lovely, entrancing. Gleeful and fascinating. It encompassed merging and separation. It was profoundly sexual. I wouldn’t say it was exactly orgasmic though, because it never peaked in a shudder or moan.
Just as we were on the verge of becoming really accomplished in this practice, disaster struck. Michael was diagnosed with a rare form of leukemia, and in the turbulence of hospitalizations, chemotherapy, blood transfusions, stem cell transfusions, and family matters, the gossamer realm that had been ours crumbled under the weight of deep grief and panic stricken concern for his survival.
From the beginning I had struggled with the very strange, frustrating and unsatisfactory features of this relationship - features which were seemingly so much at odds with the closeness we’d achieved in the subtle realm. It took a few months before the “what if it’s Asperger Syndrome” lightbulb lit up, and once it did, Michael was both amused by my great efforts to understand him and understandably resistant to attempts to label him. As time went on, however, I believe he came to understand certain aspects of his life and relationships as a story that included neurological difference (over and above a glancing embrace of ADD). He as much as said it, near the end.
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I still treasure my tea-stained draft of my Asperger’s Syndrome and sexuality study, a student project. Michael had made many small notes in the margins, shredding my statistics and adding comments, while hooked up to his daily ration of blood and platelet transfusions. Such a task made him very happy indeed and I wish I had been able to bring even more studies and material to absorb him and divert him from the monotony of medical procedure. He liked my nimbleness of mind, probably even more than he liked my body (in spite of his manifold eccentricities, bodies had always been available to him), and I believe he cherished a certain pride in having provided me with such rich, raw material. (If he were still alive, he would be getting a tremendous kick out of my media encounters and investigations into Objectum Sexuality.)